Travelling alone – part 1: Visitting Croatia

Football today has far surpassed a simple limit of a sport thanks to the extremely diverse increased value that it brings. As simple as a model woman who suddenly became popular and “expensive” after only a few days boldly posted on social networks some “bed” pictures with a football star. On a larger scale, many companies and corporations have been developing their brands under various forms of cooperation, such as printing logos on shirts, buying stadium names, becoming air transport partners, giving free luxurious cars, signing advertising contracts and image exploitation, etc. And even on a global scale, I believe that there are many people who in some way also benefit from the raised value of football because this is a great tool to bring audiences through small screens to many beautiful lands, to understand more interesting cultural characteristics of so many different peoples over the world.

Today’s story is led through the ball because of it I came to know Croatia. If you have watched world football in the 90s of last century, you must agree with me that the Croatian team had a golden age, with the most resounding achievement being the 1998 World Cup final. That season, star Davor Suker played brilliantly, surpassing a number of other names like Batistuta, Vieri and both “alien” Ronaldo to take the title of top scorer. It can be said that the Croatian men’s shirt has been deeply embedded in my mind since I was an elementary school kid. If I suddenly asked the names of the homeroom teachers, I might not remember them all. But if I ask about the old Croatian players, I can list them as Suker, Boban, Tudor, Jarni, Vlaovic (Jarni himself is not much remembered by his talent but because of his “piety” in the game. play Japanese electronic football 3).

When I was in Slovenia, the neighboring country of Croatia was preparing to join the Schengen region, it is understood that it is a borderless area covering many European countries. During the transition period, Croatia allows visa holders or Schengen residence cards to enter their country for tourism purposes. It is a good opportunity for me to have more interesting travel experiences in a new land. So, the blueprint started to be deployed a few months earlier and fortunately everything went smoothly according to what was outlined. In mid-August 2013, I submitted my dissertation after half a year of burying my head in books and heading to Croatia to relax for a week before returning to Slovenia to defend my graduation. Because of the limited time, I chose two cities quite close to Slovenia. The first destination is the beautiful coastal city of Rijeka on the Andriatic coast.

Rijeka is the second largest city after Zagreb with a lot of clean beaches, clear blue water can see the bottom. What makes me very excited is that the sea tourism in Rijeka is planned quite methodically, to the extent that there is a color-printed pamphlet with lots of beautiful pictures and useful information about free beaches for travelers. guest. Every day in Rijeka we visit a beach, which is all beautiful, clean, with only a little sand and a lot of stones, so every time we step into the sea, we have to gently cope to avoid foot pain. Because of this reason, many people, especially children, before going to the sea often wear rubber-style shoes like doll shoes that look very funny and fashionable.

Jumping into the sea is a very Yomost feeling

At the end of the morning of August 13, we paid a guest room in Rijeka. Before leaving the city, both lunches at Bracera Italian Restaurant are located in a small alley on the central shopping street. The night before we had a nice meal here so we decided to go back. Because I used to live in Italy, I also briefly understand some of the country’s “national soul” dishes like pizza, pasta or tiramisu. So even though I’m not a culinary expert, thanks to that knowledge, I know that Bracera food is Italian: fresh pizza baked on a traditional stone oven should be cooked evenly, crispy and not burnt, greasy and fragrant mozzarella with thick olive oil, fresh and colorful seafood salad stimulates taste. What’s more wonderful than a wonderful dinner like that after a tired day swimming and visiting the city. That evening I complimented the food very much when the waiter brought the bill to pay. If price is faster, then this is a perfect restaurant. You know, we got tired of waiting half an hour from the time we ordered to the time the food was brought and the same time was paid. That evening was too crowded, so the waiters kept on running back and forth to serve. Anyway, because it’s extremely delicious, we’re not too upset, and we’re traveling so there’s no need to rush.

Bracera colorful restaurant (photo: restaurant website)

After lunch, we both strolled to the bus stop not far away. It was sunny day, the sky was blue, the buses were coming and going, but it seemed that every trip Rijeka – Pula had not appeared. The closer the time comes to departure, the more passengers get excited. We left cool seating positions in the waiting room to sit on the bench outside. Every time I saw a trip to pick up and return guests, I quickly ran out to ask the assistant, but I received a shake of my head. Seeing my impatience, an elderly uncle sat in a bench next to him asking:

– Are you two going to Pula?

– Yes sir.

– I also took this trip but will stop in the middle of the road. I go often so you know it or come very late. You don’t have to worry much. A moment later, if you don’t see the car, I’ll go inside and wait for more information.

It was a silver-haired man who was bald almost, his voice deep, slow and his face very happy. I guess he was over 60 years old. While waiting for the car, we exchanged many stories, about the work of each person, about his descendants, about the country and people of Vietnam, about the hilltop castle and the rocky beaches in Rijeka, and also about the train coming late today. He told me that he was living in a nearby mountain and almost every week he went down to Rijeka to play with his children. This is the Dubrovnik-Pula long-distance coach ride along the Croatian coast, which takes half a day to go from beginning to end, so it is unavoidable that time difference and slow speed are inevitable. Speaking of which, when I remember it, I got up and went to the waiting room to ask, and a few minutes later I turned to bored and informed us that it was still on the way. His face showed no disgusting attitude. Perhaps the customer is often used to this kind of care?

Wait, the car will arrive, an hour late. He went down to the hut up and down the corner. When I got into my car and sat there for about ten or ten minutes, I started to fall asleep and just suddenly woke up somewhere in the middle of the road when the driver continued to drive all the way to the left. At the seaside. At that time, I turned my eyes to the opposite seat when I found out that my new good friend had gotten off the bus. It’s a pity that I haven’t said goodbye yet.

Sunset Rijeka

The secluded and old scenery of Pula bus station keeps me from thinking about the district bus stations in Vietnam. In the small campus in the main hall is a ticket kiosk, a refreshment bar, an employee’s office and a rather dirty toilet due to not being cleaned regularly. Taking advantage of waiting for you to “solve the sadness”, I went back and looked for information on the tourist in that “district town” car but could not find anything I needed: no portable map, no map Buses, no leaflets introduce places to visit and entertain, nothing at all. The only travel information here is the most difficult-to-understand large-format printed map and glass frame of my life. Two German girls who were also dusty travelers stood right next to their utterly bewildered eyes. After that, the three of them stood together for only a few minutes, but they were not really bright. I must say that I have never “starved” such travel information anywhere else in Europe. In the end, I couldn’t stand it with the “banana” map, and I went to the refreshing shop to ask the woman to stand at the counter. Because of language barrier, of course, no one understands it but she also knows that I am a tourist and must be looking for a way into the city center. She pointed to the road behind the bus stop, while speaking, she motioned slowly with her hand. I swallowed the instructions “golden pearl”: go straight, turn right, turn left, go straight, turn right, turn left.

Honestly, when I set foot on a rough, rough road, on both sides of the road, there were still three houses that were unfinished like a countryside. There was a feeling, a very vague feeling that stopped cutting through the thought: it seemed like I was lost? But the hot sun poured fire in the South European summer, causing my mind to stagnate and not want to think much. Let’s just go straight, turn right and turn left to see what happened, there’s nothing after. So the two of us walked away in a very sluggish manner due to tiredness, heat and more or less disappointment. As I went, I thought why I decided to visit this land where the monkey was hoofing. Did the glittering photos online deceive me?

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